Go Shin Kai Association


Go Shin Kai Style

Go Shin Kai Aikido – We are classed as a traditional weapons orientated style based on Chiba sensei's Martial approach. As a club we are always looking for ways to develop rather than just repeat a process, without fully understanding its origins and reasons. Our dojo follows the teaching and frame work of Chiba sensei and has a very great interest in the practice and study of the Martial Attitude and how Aikido comes from thousands of years of learned experience from the Samurai sword, all of which relating to Ueshiba's Aikido. The main emphasis being the continued development and growth in Aikido in the UK, so that the art is not lost.


Aikido derives mainly from the martial art of Daito-ryu Aiki-jujutsu, but began to diverge from it in the late 1920s, partly due to Ueshiba's involvement with the Omoto-Kyo religion. Many of Ueshiba's senior students have different approaches to aikido, depending on when they studied with him. Today Aikido is found all over the world in a number of various styles, with broad ranges of interpretation and emphasis. However, they all share techniques learned from Ueshiba the founder of Aikido.

Beginners - New to Aikido

See the FAQ's below


Why Aikido

There are many reasons to choose Aikido as a martial arts. However it is something that you must experience and try for yourself to decide, not everyone is suited. Aikido is a discipline as well as a martial science that required dedication and an open mind.

Aikido is just as effective as any other martial arts if not more so, especially in today's society of knife crime. I personally have a Boxing, Fung Fu, BJJ and MMA martial arts back ground and consider Aikido at the top of the food chain regarding effectiveness and lethality, you will find those that oppose this view, however I counter this by suggesting; if you put an MMA fighter with an Aikido & BJJ background, he will be more devastating than his opponent who has no martial arts focus. One must be an expert in all fields.

Additionally Aikido is the heart of any Samurai, it keeps you extremely fit, installs confidence, clarity of mind, and the ability to protect yourself regardless of age, size, gender or ability furthermore you become a part of a global family with friends all over the world.

Aikido & Weapons Classes


About Go Shin Kai

Go Shin Kai Association has been created through the amalgamation of five founding Clubs.  These clubs range in size and geographical location throughout the United Kingdom.  

The founding clubs are Bloomsbury Aikido Club, Gloucester Aikido Club, Kidderminster Aikido Club,  and Zanshin-Kai Aikido Club. The inception of the new house was to help keep the teachings of Shihan William Smith in the body art, bokken and Jo alive whilst also following the teachings of present day instructors from Hombu Dojo.

Go Shin Kai Association stands roughly at 120 members strong and growing! We are members of The British Aikido Board (BAB) who are recognised by Sport England , as the only governing body for Aikido in the United Kingdom which is also a member of the Sport and Recreation Alliance.

Presently, Go Shin Kai Association covers the Mercia area; North/Central Birmingham, Kidderminster & Wyre Forest, Gloucester, as well as London and Huddersfield.

As members of the British Aikido Board (BAB), we welcome students from all walks of life no matter your gender, sexuality, race, religion, nationality or ethnicity.

"When an opponent comes forward, move in and greet him; if he wants to pull back, send him on his way".

Morihei Ueshiba


GSK Grades

Our grading are based on time spent learning, the grades are a test to see whether the student has been able to recognise the instructions given, and how well they have performed the techniques, each step up the ladder requires greater knowledge and ability.

It may take decades to master due to the complexities and scientific precision required, even the masters say that they are still learning and have not reached perfection.

Why does it take so long to master? watching and doing are two separate things, self awareness of ones owns actions are also hard to recognise. To become an expert in any one thing takes 10,000 hours of dedicated training and in Aikido there are many areas in which to become an expert in.

All of our grades and ranks are in accordance with the Aikido World Headquarters (Hombu Dojo) and the Aikikai Foundation in Tokyo, Japan. We value our relationship with Aikido World Headquarters (Hombu Dojo) and the Aikikai Foundation, and strive to support them as best as possible, through training and other activities.

"Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here to realise your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment".

Morihei Ueshiba


What to wear - Day 1

For the first two weeks (free introduction rate) you should dress comfortably in relaxed gym wear, preferably long sweat pants and a T-shirt or sweat top, not to warm. you don't have to invest in a uniform (Gi) until your confident enough, which we can provide (even second hand Gi's if required) through Ninecircles shop.

Bring flip flops or crocks for your feet. most importantly please trim your nails as not to scratch others (Hygiene is also very important).


The first two week are free for those wishing to try out Aikido for the first time. (Please see other deals that may be on offer). classes cost around £2.50 - £5.00 (2 hours) depending on age and membership status, monthly and annual subscriptions are available. 



Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do I make contact with the club or an instructor? 

    • You can use the form provided on this website. We also have a Facebook page, later we shall add you to our emailing list and you can make direct contact with individuals. If you decide to go directly to a class, please arrive well before the class starts, so that the teacher has a chance to talk to you.

  • I am not very fit - can I still practise Aikido.

    • Please talk to your teacher and work within your limits. It is your responsibility to make the teacher aware of any health conditions, injuries or illness that you may have (Especially High Blood Pressure or Heart Problems), please contact your local GP should you have any concerns before hand. As a general rule Aikido is an art that can be practiced by ANY age or capability. Aikido emphasises correct technique over muscular force.

  • I have a disability – can I still practise?

    • As above please consult your doctor first to make sure, the art can be practiced by almost anyone, but a Doctors letter stating that you are fit to practice will be required.

  • I’d like to go and watch a session – is this possible?

    • You are welcome to watch a class without having any obligation to join. You can always talk to the Teacher first. Most people watch one or more classes before deciding to start practicing.

  • I want to start Aikido - when should I arrive for my first class?

    • You will need to complete membership registration and go through a few formalities.

    • You should arrive well before the class starts to ensure that your ready.

  • Now that I am a member, when should I arrive for the class? 

    • The majority of clubs require the students to arrive early to lay out the mats. (Ren Sei Kan Dojo has a permanent matted area).

    • Arrive in plenty of time to get changed so that you can step onto the mat feeling calm and not rushed.

    • It is also wise to warm up and practise basic principles.

  • What if I arrive late?

    • If it is your first class please wait and watch until you have spoken to the teacher.

    • If you have already joined the Club, and arrived late, just get changed quietly and wait by the side of the mat until the teacher calls you on.

  • The club has lots of black belts and I am a beginner - should I worry?

    • No don’t worry. The nature of aikido is to work in harmony with your partners.

    • Higher grades are expected to treat lower grades with respect (and vice versa).

    • You will be made to feel welcome and will benefit from practice with the higher grades.

    • It is best to train with a higher grade so that mistakes are avoided.

  • I need to leave the mat (go to the toilet, turn my mobile off etc) - what should I do?

    • First ask the teacher in charge for permission to leave the mat.

    • When you return, wait by the mat until you are asked to come on.

  • What should I do when the class finishes?

    • It is helpful and shows respect when students help to tidy the dojo by putting mats away or generally tiding up etc.

    • Get changed promptly and keep your belongings arranged neatly.

    • Bow and show respect when you leave the mat or the Dojo.

  • I want to start Aikido - What is the minimum age?

    • 8 to 10 years of age depending on the individual

    • must be accompanied by an adult.

  • How much does it cost?

    • Please see our classes page for membership and class prices

  • What kinds of people do aikido? 

    • We have members from all walks of life - aikido is not limited to any one sex, sexuality or ethnic group.

  • Do you have any female teachers?

    • Yes. Please look at the teachers link and gallery above.

  • Can i come along and watch?

    • Of course! Please feel free to come along on any class and watch, ask questions, or better still, have a go.

  • What do i wear?

    • If you've done a martial art before then feel free to wear your existing suit, we only ask that you use a white belt if possible, if you've never done a martial art then wear something loose fitting such as gym wear.

  • How much does an aikido suit (dogi or keikogi) cost?

    • Generally most people wear karate or judo type suits in order to practice aikido, they cost from around £15 upwards. There are a few companies who produce aikido specific dogi's and they are available from around £30 or so. please see our web shop where we receive a discount off our local retailer.

Can I have a checklist of clothing to bring for my first session?

  1. Soft comfortable clothing. Whether you wear a kidogi or soft clothing make sure it is clean.

  2. Flip flops or slippers to wear to the matt.

  3. You may bring a towel, or handkerchief in case you get hot and sweaty.

  4. A bag to keep your belongings neat while you are on the mat practicing.

  5. Warm clothes to wear home after practicing.

Can I have a checklist of things to do for my first session?

  1. Don’t forget some money or a cheque book to join or pay for lessons.

  2. Cut your toe and fingers nail so that they are short and clean.

  3. Ensure that you are clean and hygienic, poor personal hygiene will not be tolerated.

  4. Arrive early so that you can complete your membership registration and get changed.

  5. Turn your mobile phone off.

  6. Relax and enjoy the class.

Etiquette, if you're unsure of something then please ask or follow the other students.

·       When entering or leaving the dojo, it is proper etiquette to bow in the direction of O Sensei's picture.

·       You should also bow when entering or leaving the mat.

·       If you arrive late for a class then simply sit on the edge of the mat until the teacher is aware you're there.

·       If you need to leave the lesson for any reason then please let the teacher know.

·       Remove watches, rings and other jewellery before practice as they may catch your hair, skin, or clothing and cause injury to yourself or your partner.

·       Please keep your fingernails (and especially your toenails) clean and cut short.

·       Keep your training uniform clean, pressed, in good condition and free from offensive odours.

·       Please keep talking during class to a minimum. What conversation there is should be restricted to Aikido. It is impolite to talk whilst the instructor is addressing the class.

·       It is usually considered polite to sit in seiza (knelt down) and to bow upon receiving assistance or correction from the teacher.

·       Whoever is teaching is referred to as sensei only whilst they're teaching, if you are speaking to a Japanese teacher on or off the mat that you should always use the term sensei when addressing them.


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